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Morning Routines: It’s Not Too Early to Start

by YPI Editors | September 20th, 2016 | Infants/Toddlers, Preschool, Seasonal, Seasonal

2-3-year-old-in-pajamas-eating-breakfastMornings- depending on your sleep pattern, you may love them or despise them. Of course, despising them doesn’t make them go away or change the time that school or work starts. Regardless to your opinion on this time of day, it’s good to get your little ones used to the morning routine as soon as possible.

When is the right age to implement a morning schedule? Some of this will depend on the details of your personal life- do you work outside the home, do you have older children that need to go to school? For some, you might start a morning routine at three months, for others one year might be a good time. Either way, you’ll want to follow the same steps.

The most important part of working on a morning schedule is by creating a set bedtime. If your little one goes to bed at the same time every night, that will make the mornings easier. You might be tempted on the weekend to alter the routine; however, most two year olds don’t notice the difference between a 7:30 and 9:00 bedtime.

With an established bedtime, you can begin to work on the morning. If you need to be out of the house at a certain time each morning, then you need to wake your child at the same time each morning. With repetition your child might begin to wake at this time on his own after a while. (It’s always nicer to wake because of your internal clock, even for a toddler.) If you don’t need to be out of the house, it’s okay to let your child wake at his discretion. With a set bedtime, he should wake up at a similar time each day.

After waking up, you can decide in which order morning events should happen. The most important thing is that it’s the same so that your child knows what to expect. “We always eat breakfast, then brush teeth, and finally get dressed.”

In the toddler and preschool years, it’s also good to start teaching some responsibility. One morning task could be making his bed. Of course, he doesn’t need to do it on his own, but he also needs to know it isn’t a task for just Mom and Dad. He can be a helper, or maybe even a parent is his helper.

Following a morning routine also helps with teaching days of the week. Monday is a preschool day, so she needs to pack her snack in her backpack. Tuesday is parent-child gym class, so she needs to wear sneakers. On Saturday everyone gets to stay home, so it’s ok to stay in pajamas and play with toys rather than making her bed right away.

If you follow this routine every day, it will establish a pattern for your child, which should make mornings go more smoothly for everyone. Whether you like mornings or not, it’s always better to start them on a positive note.

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